Keep your boundaries…Hold the line
Learning how to make boundaries, was a seriously hard thing to do. Being worried that I might upset, or disappoint someone…or worse…make someone angry at me, was something I just couldn’t face. I’d always over commit to people, let guilt take over, and was giving much more of myself, then I ever got in return.
I had a big problem with caring more about someone else’s life, or circumstance, than they even cared for their own situation. I would find myself sacrificing my own happiness, my health, and even my families needs, all for people who had a way of “finding” themselves in one drama after the next.
After years, and years of being this type of person, dealing with “taker” verse “givers”…each time I would find myself, alone, unwanted, uncared for, or feeling guilty, and shamed! I was growing sick of being the scape goat, the personal dairy, the person kicked to curb, left feeling totally frustrated and abandoned. It was time, I made a change, but I didn’t even know where to start.
I still worried about everyone else’s feeling far more than my own. The fear of being disowned, blamed, and worst having someone who really did need me, but I wasn’t there….I just didn’t want that at all…ever! What if someone is hurt, being hurt or in a desperate situation, and I am not there for them? The thought of it, killed me.
Life coaching and major threapy
I started going to therapy, and seeing a life coach! Along with being part of a great support group, and attending every webinar that I possibly could. I am a huge fan of therapy! I think every single person should be talk to a therapist, or a life coach. Even if you don’t have anything major going on in your life…We are all dealing with somethings that has to be processed, thought through, and we deal with other people! People are hard sometimes, and getting help how to manage people, and our reactions to them is so necessary!
Anyway, I started my whole health training a little over 2 years ago. I have to be honest, I didn’t start this journey just because I needed to learn boundaries….No, I started because truly, my mental, and emotional state was in the shitter big time. I had the worst of worst when it came to depression, and anxiety. My life was joyless, a dark hole, I hated myself. Everything around me was falling apart! This was beyond sadness for me.
Over the last year, I had many ups and downs. Learning where my depression came from, along with, what and who my triggers were. It was an emotional, long road for me, but so worth it. I’d have months are great progress, with weeks of sadness. I’d feel like a failure to God Himself. It was big steps forward, to a life that I was thriving in, with little bouts of overwhelming emotion. Day by day, and week by week, I started to find myself. I am so proud of the work I have done, and where I am now.
As I approached a clearing from the dark clouds that had been following me forever, I knew I never wanted to return to that ugly place. I never wanted to be that weak, easily controlled or so discussed with myself ever again. I needed to find away to make really clear, healthy boundaries.
knowing yourself and what serves your life
I learned every quickly that I needed to stop worried if everyone was happy or not. This is an unattainable fairy tale. Not everyone will be happy with me all the time or with themselves. I needed to be okay with this, and stop taking ownership of other people’s feelings.
This was super hard for me, because I do care what people think about me, and I want to represent myself, and my family in a good light. With the help of my Life Coach, I found that representing myself well, and owning the feeling of others, is not the same thing. I discovered that it’s not a bad thing to care about your reputation. However, believing that the way other’s feel about me will change who I am, is plain untrue!
I left so free, once I learned that I don’t have to worry about what other people think of me, or the way I am living. I cannot worry if they like or dislike my life, the way I live, or my personal opinions. They don’t have to like any of that, and I don’t have to care if they do. I can totally continue living my sweet life…unbothered. I would never hand over my power that way again. Who knew I could simply choose not to consume myself with the way other people think or feel?
Next, I had to learn what my triggers were. This could be a whole blog on it’s own. So I won’t go into to crazy amount of detail about what mine are. What I will say, is everyone’s are different. It may make no sense to anyone why we get triggered by the things we do. My triggers can bring out insecurities, anxiety, depression, or the flipping of the switch…this is when I just shut down. Once I shut down, it’s really a struggle to open back up, feel safe, or engage with anyone. I hate flipping the switch!
Once I established what, and who triggers me, I was able to start evaluating my relationships. This isn’t what you might think. I wasn’t deciding who I wanted in my life, and who I didn’t! No, I had to decided what kind of outcome I wanted in each relationship.
- I knew I wanted to feel easy breezy with everyone, no crazy expectations or demands.
- I wanted to be able to be myself, not hide behind what I thought people wanted me to be.
- I wanted people to feel safe with me, and for me to feel safe with them. No matter what happened, I didn’t want any side to worry about being kicked out of anyone life.
- Being courteous to one another and NEVER taking more than the other is giving.
- Extending forgiven is important, because I knew I would make mistakes, and so would the people in my life. No one should be crucified for that.
- Knowing when I’ve had enough, and it’s time to take a step back. If a trigger is being pulled, or a boundary pushed, then I need to know when to say when. No matter what the other person feels is right or wrong.
Time to lay down your line in the sand
Once my triggers were known and understood by me, it made it easier to give myself, and the people in my life some solid boundaries. This was my way of respecting, and protecting myself, and my relationships.
One of those boundaries is to never care more about the livelihood of another person than my own. This is like pouring from an empty pitcher. I will not wrap myself up in someone else’s story so much that I stop writing my own.
People do change but not into brand new people. A little part of that toxic, troublesome part of us never really goes away. What happens is, we learn how to manage it, cope with it…. that is, if we’re honest with ourselves. If a person I love is not helping themselves, there is nothing I can do for them. Sure, we pray for them, we send out good vides into the universe for them, and want nothing but the best for them! But in the end, we can’t carry our own load, along with someone else’s…. specially, if they aren’t helping themselves. They have to want a change, and be making strides toward that to have really change happen in their life.
Protecting my peace is a full time job. If anyone comes in, trying to muddy up my peace, they get a door in the face. This doesn’t mean that I kick them out of my life, but it does mean, phase 2 boundaries are in affect! That free pass you had in to my family, my home and our life, is canceled until further notice. From this point on any contact, is discussed in detail before any moves are made forward. Time frames, place, and conversation are limited. Sorry, not sorry.
Don’t judge or be judged. I have learned to be a better listener, and not to hold everyone to every word ever said. We’re all human, and our emotions can get the best of us at times! As long as our intentions are good, then we should be able to understand one another, and keep moving forward, forgive quickly, do our best to support each other within our means, and give space when needed.
If at anytime these things aren’t happening, I don’t feel bad highlighting the boundaries, and pulling back. Taking care of myself is number one.
Taking care of YOU first is not selfish
This was hard for me at first, but I know it is true! If I want to love, and care for my family, and friends, then I need to be able to do that also for myself. Taking care of me, isn’t selfish, it’s a priority! It’s just one of the ways that I show my love to others. After all, you can’t give what you don’t have.
This is part of protecting my peace. Taking care of myself mentally, emotionally, and physically. No one has to agree with it, it just is. When I am full, I can thrive, and be what I want, and need to be for others. This is so very important for me, and will always be my number one!
I am a better wife, mother, sister, and daughter, when I am loving myself well. I’ve been called spoiled, and even a brat, for taking care of myself! Honestly at first, this upset me. Now, I don’t get mad, or bothered by it all. I have a good life, even on the really hard days, but that’s because I created it to be this way. So when someone thinks that I’m being a spoiled brat by getting some me time, creative a peaceful places for myself, or simply treating myself special…it’s most likely out of jealousy. It has nothing to do with me at all.
IT’s still me…only happy and healthy
I’ve been told by seriously so many people, my personal friends, my blogging friends, my husband even…I seem so different, in the best way. I am happy. I’ve worked really hard to get to place in my life.
I’ve worked incredible hard with my counselor, and life coaching team on my mental state. It’s been about 2 in a half years now, working with this incredible team of mental health professional, doctors, public speakers, and other people, just like me. Years of webinars, books, worksheets, groups, and reframing my perspective, has been the best gift that I have ever given myself.
I am still me. I just know better now, so I do better. I do better for myself, so that I can be better for others. I have coping skills I lacked before. My thought process has changed. I have different expectation for myself, along with limits and boundaries. I know myself better now, so I can better take care of myself.
I’m proud of the work that I’ve done, and the knowledge I’ve gained. I’m still working with a life coach and counselor. I doubt that I’ll ever stop speaking with someone. I recently graduated to meeting every other week now. I’ve come along way!
I hope you, who reader stay encouraged! Do the hard things to get the life that God intends for you. Take care of you! And protect your peace!
**Small Steps Turn Into Miles**